Taras Boulba - Brasserie de la Senne

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Taras BoulbaTaras Boulba

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BA SCORE
88
very good

357 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 357
Reviews: 182
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 38
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie de la Senne visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: GCBrewingCo on 09-19-2006)
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Ratings: 357 | Reviews: 182 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Seanibus
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am afraid I have to swim against the tide on this one - I am not a big fan.

Pours a sunny slightly hazy golden with a big fluffy white head. The aroma is sharp and grainy, with some lemon and coriander. The flavor is thin and lemony, with a strong bite of coriander and allspice. There is a grainy, almost wheaty body, with a distinct aspriny bitterness. The finish is a bit weak and watery, however. The mouthfeel is quite watery.

Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Novare Res Bier Cafe in Portland ME. Served chilled in a goblet

A - A beautiful golden color w/ excellent clarity - rocky pale white cap w/ average sized beading and thick lace collects

S - The smell has green spiciness from the hops w/ tropical notes from the yeast and mild pine notes from the hops as well. The fruit esters seem to be most similar to pineapple w/ mild bitter citrus peel and a mild vegetal note in the background

M - The feel is very good -dry and bitter w/ mild sweet herbal textures -moderately carbonated w/ mellow sweet malt and herbal tinges carry over into the finish w/ a dash of spice as it ends dry

T - The flavor is full w/ sweet tinge of light malt and mellow bitter citrus and pine hop tastes w/a hint of tropical fruit and the malt crispness balanced w/ a light vegetal and spiced
note of hops which also have minor floral aspects. The flavor has a dry quality which is hard to describe but is not so dry that you don't notice the sweet sugared tip. The complexity is good, but not over the top either -just a solid Belgian Pale taste IMO

D - A drinkable pale, the drinkability is very nice for this style - hopped slightly like a belgian strong yet abv is at level of a pale so it is win/win. I found the bitterness to be substantial and if it weren't at the lowered strength it is could be compared to a Belgian Ipa w/ the bitterness - recommended.

Photo of ThaCreep
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The nose is light enough where unfortunately we do detect a bit of hops, spices and resins. The mouth is the opposite. In addition to being quite special entry in the mouth, rather resinous, leading to flavors of anise and licorice, accented and highlighted by a hops and yeast quality. Tasting offers a body quite dry with a strong bitterness that breathes the fresh hops. With only 4.5 °, it offers much flavor in the mouth and can be drunk in large quantities. A classic BITTER (and not an IPA or Pale Ale like I saw it), yet resolutely Belgian.

Photo of richmof
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belgian pale or Belgian IPA? I would have thought this was more of the latter, with Zinnebir from the same brewer falling into the former category. Either way, De Zenne Brouwerij doesn't seem to do bad beers.

Pungent grassy herbs on the nose and in the mouth, with an almost earthiness. A very keenly hopped ale.

I could drink this beer any time any place.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Blind Tiger, NYC.

Poured a hazy dark straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured light cereal malts and a grassy hop.

The taste consisted of clean cereal malts, a grassy hop an mild yeast esters.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style with a lingering dry spicy finish.

Overall a very drinkable and user friendly farmhouse ale.

Photo of gmcfarre
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into Caracole tulip

A - Pours a beautiful clear orangish yellow color with a properly large eggshell white head that rises to about 2 inches and becomes very rocky. Lacing is excellent.

S - Slightly sweet & grassy, floral with plenty of lemon & orange citrus character. Plenty of citrus & grass hop character with lots of yeast characteristics. Some bubblegum comes to mind as it warms.

T - Starts with a mild sweetness that quickly is overwhelmed by the citrus, bubblegum & grassy flavors. Good amount of bitterness in a nice finish. Good combination of belgian yeast flavor & hop flavors.

M - Mild carbonation with a medium body and a refreshing, lightly bitter finish. Just a touch chalky at the finish, taking away from an otherwise outstanding experience.

D - Another nice take on the Belgian IPA. Very drinkable & worth seeking out if you can find it.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served in a tulip at The Dirty Truth

A - more yellow and pale than i expected, almost golden and very hazy, a full finger of white head with scant carbonation

S - the first element i get is yeastiness, some poignant lemon zest citrusness, some subtle spiciness and a clean grassy note as well

T - wow, surprisingly hoppy for the stlye, a nice floral hop profile, definitely dominated by classic belgian funk and those elements of the nose that transferred to the taste, the grassiness, spices, and lemon zest

M&D - medium bodied and easily drinkable, nicely combined flavors and not so funky to turn people off, a nice classic belgian

Photo of deathdealer666
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My local purveyor warned me this bottle had some age to it. I was wondering how the hops were gonna hold up. The answer is wonderfully.

It poured a very hazy gold with a huge cloudy head leaving a good amount of lace down the sides of the glass.

If this beer shows any age it's in the nose. A little hop up front, maybe saaz, something noble. But it quickly gives way to a dank mustiness.

Luckly that does not carry over to bottle. The distinct fruity belgian yeast is fighting hard to keep up with the amount of ultra grassy bittering hops put into it. Crisp apple and light oat round out the palate.

The beer actually didn't last this long. It was quite smooth and creamy. I guess that's all that needs to be said about it's drinkability as well. It's a good thing it's only 4.5%

Photo of gory4d
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden with a generous white head, lots of lacing. The smell is flowers, clean minerals, grain. The taste is up front minerals, sweetness and biscuit in the middle, and a long bitter finish. It's highly carbonated, a little viscous. Nice and easy to drink as it warms. Wish this were available around here, and were a lot cheaper. All in all it's a lot like a mellower version of a Belgian IPA. Fine stuff.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I kinda like BPales and the mix of the yeast and hops that usually gives the beer a crisp sensation at the end. This one is no different, although the flavors are abit subtle. Pours a dark, hazy golden with a rounded fluffy head. Some sediment in the head..weird?
Zest is prominent in the nose. Not quite orange as it's missing some zip. Maybe asian pear or something. The familiar Belgian yeasts give it a good, semi-sweet bready nose. Juicy.
Taste pretty much follows, although I would say this has a lightness to it that American Pales don't usually have. The malt is richer and not as wide, if that makes sense. Low abv makes this a good session beer for me.

Photo of PhillyMonk
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wasn't sure what to expect, but liked the idea of a "hoppy" Belgian ale. This poured a nice rich golden color in the tulip glass it was served with with a good amount of head that clung for a few minutes. Well-balanced smell with hops dominating. The taste was also hoppy up front, but none of the bitter aftertaste of IPAS. This beer finished with a sweet, smooth flavor that was refreshing and different. I had no idea until I got home that this beer was less than 5% alcohol. If it didn't cost me $7.50 a glass, I could drink this one all night. A delicious ale!

Photo of RedChrome
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cloudy bright gold colored beer. A massive rapidly forming airy white head faded over a few minutes. Large carbonation bubbles were scant and rose fast. Minimal lace spots.

Earthy scents with strong grass and yeast presence. Hops have a subdued quality and only hint at a bitter aroma. A buttery finish on the back of the nose.

A bitter subdued hops flavor up front. Straw and grass flavors. AS it warms a light fruity essence comes out stronger without having any specific flavor to note.

A nice thickness on the tongue. Few minimal carbonation tingle. Flavors cling very nicely well after swallowing.

A good brew. This one would work nicely with chicken Francaise. A great session brew. Well worth trying if you see it out and about.

Photo of popery
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is probably my favorite sub-5% abv Belgian that I've tried so far. It tastes like a light Belgian IPA, which makes sense given the self-applied label, "Extra Hoppy Ale." I chilled it down a bit in the refrigerator and side-stepped the overflow other BA's have reported. Consequently, the head was probably a bit less than it could have been. The beer is a glowing, hazy yellow-gold liquid with a puffy white head. The aroma is a bit weak. Dry yeast is the main aroma, but there is a noticeable tangerine hop undercurrent. The beer really shines on the palate. It's a pretty exceptional beer given the truly sessionable 4.5% abv. Both malt and hops shine and work well with the yeast. The malt is light but fresh and flavorful. The hops give the beer a great bite in the aftertaste and provide pleasing bitterness and flavor throughout. The yeast flavors are a refined and restrained Belgian complex of earth and must. This is one of those great foreign session beers that's sadly too expensive to drink in quantity here. I'm deeply envious of Belgians (and anyone else lucky enough) who can find it easily and cheaply.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

on-tap at deep ellum during the cantillon/de la senne event on april 24, 2009, week's end of the craft brewers conference.

served in tulip glass.

pale blonde with slight haze. amazing foamy, creamy head. great lace.

bold noble hop nose, herbal, grassy and upfront. faint fruity belgian yeast notes. toasted crackers. whiff of sulfur.

taste: very surprisingly malty and bready, while also hoppy with very crisp herbal tones. snappy bitterness.

light to medium body, with resins in the finish. crisp carbonation has moments of creaminess.

really, this isn't much different from the bottled version. maybe fresher, and of course no gushing. again, this has exceptional depth of flavor for just 4.5% ABV.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'd like to thank Eric from Novare Red Bier Café for suggesting this last winter when we visited his location in Portland, ME. We shared on that night and I've been looking for one to enjoy/review. Finally was able to pick up a couple of bottles.

Upon opening the bottle some carbonation boils in the bottle and slowly starts building foam that would eventually make it's way out the top of the bottle. When poured a wispy white head forms and then begins to fade immediately. The beer is slightly hazy light gold color despite decanting and leaving the yeast in the bottle. No lacing occurs.

Aroma is yeast and spice and some pale grains/malt.

Flavor is quite yeasty as well, a bit dry with some black pepper and other spices.Some grassy notes and then a bready sense in the middle of the profile. Finally a surprising amount of hop bitterness. Almost crisp and definitely dry. You get some additional sweetness as it warms above the serving temperature as well as some additional fruitiness shining through.

Mouth feel is just shy of astringent and body is very delicate. Bitterness makes it seem a bit more bold than it really is.

Quite drinkable and a lot of flavor for a lower ABV beer. This could be a session Belgian.

Photo of Overlord
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks for the extra!

Pours a hazy gold with a billowing white head that threatened to overwhelm fist the bottle, then the glass. Looks a bit filmy, and the head brings to mind soap foam.

Smells ... well, the bottle says "hoppy," but this smells like Belgian yeast in a familiar "gold ale" format.

Taste, again, has some citrus and lemony hops, but is by no means "hoppy." If anything, it tastes like soapy lemon zest. Not particularly appealing, and this is one of the few times I think a beer is overly carbonated. The flavor could have used a dampening down.

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a hazy, golden color with tall, white foam that persisted and clung to the glass, leaving some lace. The smell was a wonderful aromatic hop aroma (noble?) coupled with effervescent carbonation which tickled the nostrils. The taste was very dry and full of aromatic hop flavors, though not overly bitter. Behind the hops was a mild malt body with only a touch of sweetness. Perfectly balanced. The mouthfeel was dry and crisp with medium body and good, fine carbonation. The hops were present from start to finish. This is a wonderful session beer. Thanks to Daniel from Moan & Dove for recommending this one.

Photo of BarrelO
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a goblet. Smeirlap!

A: Light orange with a big puffy head. In fact, I barely keep it from gushing all over the counter.

S: Citrus and spicy yeast.

T: A stunningly refreshing mix of tartness, hop bitterness, and biscuity malt.

M: Light with tons of carbonation.

D: This is really easy to put down. I'd drink it all the time if it were more widely available and less expensive.

Photo of deanhead
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice straw color. Big brilliant head, which reduced to a lace minimal lace.
Aroma is a peppery and lime like.

Taste is bitter and floral, crisp and clean.
Light bodied and refreshing.
Drinkable, but nothing really stands out with this beer. It's good but as others have mentioned it's not fantastic.
All around good beer, but nothing that really strikes a fancy with me on this one.

Photo of bryanbrick
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No apparent freshness date on bottle

This is a good beer. Not a bad beer, not a great beer, not an OK beer, but a good beer. There is nothing that really stands out here but there is nothing I can pick apart either.

It has a nice thick, lasting head with more than a little yeast in the glass if you pour recklessly.

Bright citrus and tropical aromatics slightly bitter from the "Extra Hoppy" aspect of this beer. Not really hoppy at all though this seems to ride a perfect line of bitter, fruity and earthy.

Nice carbonation that keeps this fresh and lively in the mouth, a bit more than most Belgian Pale ales.

This is easily drinkable, but not something I want all the time. Only beacause there are so many great Belgian Pales out there, and this one is just good. Not Bad, but good.

Photo of imagineiii
4.63/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my duvel tulip. pale yellow to hazy orange in color. finger of white head. decent retention.

nose is of grass, maybe hay. light fruits, apples and melons. cloves. smells alot like local 1. but this beer has half the alcohol, hmmmm...

initially its sweet and clovy, with faint fruits that are more dominant in nose. crisp hops clean any residual sweetness away, leaving only a slight bitterness behind. slightly peppery. marvelously balanced.

mouthfeel is perfect. carbonation is just right, flavor complexity isnt nearly overpowering to the palate. clean finish.

this beer is as drinkable as any belgian out there. it is light and clean, leaving the drinker wanting more. unfortunately it is cost-prohibitive to session with this beer, as much as id like to.

advertised as extra hoppy, it is anything but. rather the hops just serve to clean up the sweet fruity esters left behind from the belgian style.

Photo of rtepiak
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow. really. 4.5 abv!

pour is a murky golden. the head creeps up the bottle after popping. very carbonated beer. tight white belgian bubbles. nose of herbal straw, pilsner bitterness, and a mild floral lavender quality. taste is soap astringent. quite dry on the tongue. lavender comes through on the palate quite nicely with a pislner earthy like finish. wonderful bitter. light. effervescent carbonation that does burn but adds to the clean dryness of the beer. very mild sweet, some honey with a finish of bread. minty crisp on the tongue balance with that too. great beer. great for late spring to summer. so light and well hopped it could be had with everything... but spicy foods.

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

04/30/09- Purchased at K&L Wine Cellar in Redwood City, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my New Belgium tulip.

Appearance- Medium to ligher golden colored pour. One inch fluffy head with some light lace patchwork and streaks remaining.

Smell- Ligher notes when cold of tropical fruits, lemon rind and yeast. As it warms, the tropical notes really get pungent.

Taste- Very well balanced between the tropical hoppy flavors and the light toasted malty base. Light lemony flavors with what seems like mango possibly as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level. Pretty crips and a minor hoppy aftertaste.

Drinkability- All in all a really nice pale ale. Really easy to drink and refreshing.

Photo of smcolw
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge, over-carbonated head--the bottle vulcanoed when opened. When poured, there is an initial four-fingered head. Leaves chunky ring lace. Quite cloudy; golden color.

Earthy and yeasty aroma predominates...mostly yeast. Clean malt smell without the rawness that I've come to expect from Belgium. Light alcohol in the background.

Acidic without being citrusy. A balanced finish that offers a notable hop flavor. The yeast is lighter than the smell would indicate. Balanced body; leans toward the bubbly side.

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy orangey straw with a huge white, fluffy head. Lots of floaties.

Nose is grassy, really tight, spicy, almost cool.

Taste is tight like the nose, almost odd. Cool, herbal hop bitterness seems to dominate, yeast lends a doughy malt note that gets mixed up in it and doesn't break free. Moderately high bitterness level wears on the palate. Everything ends up muddled up in a tight mass with nothing really breaking free.

Mouthfeel is sharply carbonated, light bodied.

Was a bit turned off by this one, and really sure why. It didn't seem refreshing or overly drinkable, and there seemed to be a lot of bitterness instead of hop flavor. Iffy.

Edit: thinking back, this keg had been rolled down stairs into the basement minutes prior to tapping, so I wonder if that really screwed up the taste by agitating all that yeast into the beer.

Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne
88 out of 100 based on 357 ratings.